The Kalamazoo College housing policy changed from mandating students to live on campus through the winter of their junior year. With the number of enrolled students increasing and the limited amount of dorm space for students, now students are required to live on campus until the end sophomore year.
“The College is growing to 1500 and there are no plans in the near future to build additional campus housing. In fact, over the past few years we have been releasing juniors for the full year during the spring housing process due to lack of space,” said Associate Dean of Students Dana Jansma.
The policy will be reviewed every two years, so if the college’s population decreases then the old policy will be readopted.
Jansma sees the new policy as an advantage to current sophomores who aren’t going on study abroad or study away, because it allows them to plan housing in advance and not wait for the off campus lottery, which, like any gamble, may or may not happen.
Many sophomores are already living off campus, because of the student housing is running at full capacity. Of the accommodations they’re enjoying, the most popular was its “cheapness.”
A poor lottery number led sophomore Erica Vanneste to live off campus. “The option to live off campus was also one I quickly pounced on due to how inexpensive it is in comparison to living on campus,” she said.
Though some sophomores are off campus and student housing is cramped, Jansma sees the new policy as a “win-win” situation. It also creates more space for juniors and seniors who wish to live on campus. She wants to make sure no student is turned away from housing.
“I have never had to turn away a student who has needed housing—it may have taken a little time to get them in, but we have always worked it out,” said Jansma.
While many students agree with the new policy, some feel as if sophomores should be given the option to live off campus.
“I think freshman should be required or strongly encouraged. It gives them a chance to meet people and acclimate to college life. All in all, sophomores should have the option to live off campus, ” said Camille Wood ’17.